Learn more about Macaca fuscata from the Encyclopedia of Life
By Masashi Mochida
Commonly referred to as “snow monkeys,” Japanese
macaques are notorious for their animated behavior,
whether quietly enjoying the hot springs of Jigokudani
or engaging in play during the cold, snowy winters.
Found in the wild only in the highlands and forested
mountains of Japan, macaques may live up to 40 years,
subsisting on plants, insects, acorns, and other nuts.
Snow monkeys are very social animals and communicate
using a complex variety of vocalizations, facial
expressions, and body language, as well as physical
contact such as play, grooming, and mating.
“I was very lucky to get a series of shots of these young
snow monkeys in a snowball battle, chasing each other
around and throwing snow. Here one youngster had
suddenly leaped up into the air, surprising the
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV; EF 70-200mm ƒ/2.8L IS USM
lens at 95mm; 1/3200 sec at ƒ/5.6; ISO 800; hand-held.